URBANA, Ill. — A new conservation tool from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is helping protect lions across Africa, where populations have plummeted in recent decades due to poaching and other factors.
Bats come out of the shadows during Bat Week (Oct. 24-31, 2023), an international awareness campaign that aims to educate the public about bat conservation in the week leading up to Halloween.
URBANA, Ill. – For tiny salamanders squirming skin-to-soil, big-picture weather patterns may seem as far away as outer space. But for decades, scientists have mostly relied on free-air temperature data at large spatial scales to predict future salamander distributions under climate change. The outlook was dire for the mini ecosystem engineers, suggesting near elimination of habitat in crucial areas.
URBANA, Ill. – It was the height of summer 2022 when the calls started coming in. Scores of dead deer suddenly littered rural properties and park preserves, alarming the public and inconveniencing landowners. According to officials at the Urbana Park District, it was Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD), a midge-borne viral illness that pops up in white-tailed deer populations around the state every few years.
URBANA, Ill. – Just how hard should natural resource managers fight invasive species after they establish? A new University of Illinois study suggests some invaders – even highly successful ones – can die off naturally, leaving native communities to rebound with minimal management effort.
URBANA, Ill. – For anglers, landing a muskellunge, or muskie, is a big deal. The “fish of 10,000 casts” is notoriously elusive, making the massive fish an even bigger prize when one finally strikes a lure.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — A camera-trap study of two ecosystems – one with pumas and one without – adds to scientists’ understanding of the many ways apex predators influence the abundance, diversity and habits of other animals, including smaller carnivores.
Reported in the journal Ecosphere, the study followed multiple members of the order Carnivora, looking at how the largest carnivore in each locale influenced the behavior and presence of other animals in the same vicinity.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — A new DNA-collection approach allows scientists to capture genetic information from elephants without disturbing the animals or putting their own safety in jeopardy. The protocol, tested on elephant dung, yielded enough DNA to sequence whole genomes not only of the elephants but also of the associated microbes, plants, parasites and other organisms – at a fraction of the cost of current approaches.
The researchers report their findings in the journal Frontiers in Genetics.
URBANA, Ill. – Canada geese collide with aircraft, intimidate unassuming joggers, and leave lawns and sidewalks spattered with prodigious piles of poop. They’re widely considered nuisance birds, and municipalities invest considerable time and money harassing geese to relocate the feisty flocks. But new University of Illinois research shows standard goose harassment efforts aren’t effective, especially in winter when birds should be most susceptible to scare tactics.
URBANA, Ill. – Forest managers cut down trees, but their ultimate goal is to keep forests healthy and growing. Bats might help with that, according to recent University of Illinois research, thanks to their appetite for bugs that could otherwise destroy tree seedlings.